JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Mindy Levy, author of Mindy’s Musings
Everyone has a story. It’s true. Some are sad stories of hardship and tragedy, while others are full of laughter and joy. I’ve been transfixed by tales of travel to the farthest reaches of the globe, or daring adventures of skydiving, bungee jumps and scuba diving (nothing, by the way I would EVER try – these people are nuts. Who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane?)
Mammoth acts kindness and courage renew my faith in mankind, and I’ve been bored senseless by a neighbor who has chosen me as the sounding board for their inane anecdotes.
So you see – good, bad or boring – everyone has a story.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Mindy’s Musings?
Mindy Levy: Friends and family, the humor associated with my propensity for worry and my husband’s use of humor in battling a chronic illness. The folks (and their crazy antics) are the foundation for “Mindy’s Musings”.
My husband was diagnosed with MS in 2004, at 38 years old. He is nothing short of amazing – staying positive every day with a focus on what he CAN do versus what MS has taken away. He is a brilliant role model for our kids and people with challenges of ANY kind, big or small. I’ve ready so many accounts of marriages and families that fall apart when chronic illness hits – we are just the opposite.
Once an avid cyclist, he lost his balance and could no longer mountain bike or road bike. So we got a recumbent three wheel, and he can still out pedal me in spite of chronic pain, numbness and spasms. Less time hiking and biking could have been devastating, but he filled the time in the kitchen and is an incredible cook and bread baker (uh, yeah, his homemade baguettes don’t suck!)
Anyway, we’ve been married for 9 years, and I love him, my step kids and my neurotic animals more now than ever. We are living proof that laughter and love can overcome just about anything.
I realized we had some pretty funny stories, like most families do, that could potentially brighten someone’s day or help them learn not to take themselves so seriously. So I wrote them down.
I started with a blog then quickly found I had enough fodder for a book. I channeled my husband’s attitude and determination and voila – “Mindy’s Musings” was born.
JP: What sets Mindy’s Musings apart from other books in the same genre?
ML: “Mindy’s Musings” is refreshingly true to life, candid and just plain funny. The humor is not forced, it just is. It is 100% non-fiction humor and no-one is spared, including myself.
We laugh A LOT in our house. Whether it’s my family making fun of me for unabashedly spoiling Zoey and Samson (our rescue dog and cat, both of whom I have completely ruined), unending practical jokes or just some inanely amusing happenings – we laugh. We use humor to face some of life’s hardest challenges and it gets us through.
I know it will help others do the same, for challenges large or small, so I’m empowered to impart that humor without inhibition.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Mindy’s Musings getting out to the public?
ML: Social media, book reviews, promotion are key to getting the book out to the public. Simply put, getting “Mindy’s Musings” into as many hands as possible and, more importantly, getting reviews, will start the buzz.
I can promote the book on my website, twitter, facebook and others but I need readers to really spread the word for me.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Mindy’s Musings?
I kept my laptop and or a notebook on hand at all times so that, when the inspiration struck, I could get down my thoughts straight away. I have a busy career in technology (my day job) so I frequently wrote on overseas flights and also between midnight and 2am!
It was very typical for me to block a half day on weekends and sequester myself in my office to write. Once I felt I had enough for my first short book (Volume II is in the works and will be much longer), I researched publishing options and settled on self-publishing.
JP: What’s next for Mindy Levy?
ML: Why “Mindy’s Musings Volume II”, of course. I continue to blog and readers are now calling and emailing me with their own stories!
This could be something – I mean Some Thing.
I was temporarily filled with an overwhelming sense pride and satisfaction at the prospect of having started a new fad (better yet let’s say “revolution” as “fad” is so temporary) of people connecting, really connecting, to share their own daily escapades through the extraordinarily ordinary. I was even a little verklempt about the whole thing.
Then I realized what I have actually done is motivate people to apply fictitious names to real people in an effort to anonymously mock their ridiculous behavior. I believe the layman’s term for this is “gossip”.
Call it what you will. My mission is to make people laugh, without hurting anyone, and from what I can see, I’m doing just that. So laugh hearty, laugh often, and I will keep the stories coming!